UN recovery programme worth $222m gets nod

February 10, 2013 - 1:40:35 am

PESHAWAR: The federal government of Pakistan has given the go-ahead to the estimated $222m multi-sectoral Early Recovery Assistance Framework programme for economic rehabilitation of militancy-stricken communities in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, it is learnt.

Official sources said the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) — a part of the federal ministry of finance — had approved the programme about two weeks ago.

The Fata Disaster Management Authority and United Nations Development Programme, in collaboration with 13 UN agencies, had jointly developed the programme to ensure rehabilitation of hundreds of thousands of displaced families.

The UNDP and other UN agencies have completed a field survey in the affected areas and the document is awaiting approval by the EAD for the past one year.

“The federal ministry had raised some observations which caused the delay,” said an official, adding that all irritants had been removed. 

The sources said that now the UN would negotiate with donors for provision of funds for the programme, which would be completed in three phases.

The programme would be implemented under the supervision of the UN and its partners through local communities in all agencies of Fata with special focus on Orakzai, Bajaur and Mohmand.

Initially, it was planned that the programme would be completed in a single phase, but the EAD did not agree with that. 

Under the revised plan, the programme would be implemented in three phases. For the first phase, the UN would ask donors to provide $75m.

The official said the government and other agencies, including the political administration, had no role in implementation of the programme. He said the UN and its partners would implement the programme and local communities would identify all schemes.

“There will be no interference from the government, and the UN has been given the lead role in the programme to ensure transparent utilisation of resources for rehabilitation of local communities,” he said, adding that the UN was ready to approach international donors to get funds for the plan.

He said preparations for the first phase of the project would be completed soon, following which the UN would negotiate with donors for mobilisation of resources. He was optimistic that donors would give a positive response to the UN.

An early recovery needs assessment survey was conducted in the affected areas in 2011. The programme would be implemented in eight different sectors, including farm-to-market roads, rehabilitation of irrigation channels, drinking water supply schemes, revitalisation of agriculture lands, provision of seeds, livestock, and recovery of education and health facilities.

The programme was designed to reintegrate hundreds of thousands of families who fled Fata owing to militancy and violence.